This project will investigate how coral communities along the Great Barrier Reef have historically responded to acute (e.g.
cyclones) and chronic (e.g. water quality) disturbances using pioneering high-precision geological dating and palaeoecological
techniques, combined with high-resolution geochemical analysis of coral records.
This project will determine high resolution chronological records on different time scales over the past 1-2 millennia of
parameters such as:
1. Sea-level based on high-precision dating and elevation survey of well-preserved microatolls;
2. Salinity and pH value based on high-precision boron isotope analyses of selected coral cores in conjunction with back-reef
3. Cyclone frequency based on precise dating of transported reef blocks, cyclone ridges and lagoon sediment cores;
4. Sea-surface temperature based on geochemical proxy analyses (Sr/Ca, Mg/Ca, 18O/16O) of U-series-dated coral cores.
5. Variation in coral reef community structure and coral calcification rates.